by Leon Archer
The final week is here, and I’m not talking about the elections – thank goodness they are behind us as I write this!
As of today, we are one week away from the opening of gun season for deer in the Southern Tier. It’s hard to believe, but the DEC figures show a majority of all venison put in the freezer each year comes from that one day.
Black powder and bow season, North and South, plus the Northern gunning season account for the rest, but that all indicates that there are more hunters in the woods that one day than on any other.
As I have grown older, I find my preoccupation with hunting safety has only grown greater. I have moved my preferred hunting area a couple of times simply because the woods were becoming too crowded for my comfort level.
I used to hunt near Genoa, and my son, my grandsons, and I took one to three deer from there every year, but a few years ago, in spite of getting three deer there and seeing quite a few more, I saw a much bigger herd of hunters.
I miss the farm I hunted on, but I’m not sorry I made the move. I’ve shot less deer, but I’ve felt much safer where I’ve been hunting since I changed.
No matter where I hunt, one of the first things I try to determine as I go into the woods and as I settle down on a watch, is where are other hunters, if any, in the same area.